There is a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in.
- “Anthem” by Leonard Cohen
I had a CT scan last Wednesday. I’d never had anything like it before but it turned out to be not that bad. You basically get into terrible hospital garments and sit in this chair with an IV (that’s not hooked up to fluids) while chugging a thick milk-like drink. When I sat down, I asked the tech, “Oh is this milk?” to which he replied with a chuckle, “Oh no, honey.” I took a sip and didn’t think it was that bad. But it was a BIG cup and despite trying to convince myself it was a milkshake, I did have to gag it down by the last few sips. The more you drink, the better your scan will be. I certainly didn’t want to jeopardize the scan so I drank every last gross drop.
After about 20 minutes of sitting there flipping through trashy magazines they took me into a room with the donut. That’s what I was calling it (the CT machine) because it looks just like a donut and referring to it as a donut made the whole procedure light-hearted for me. I’m going through the donut! Wheeee!
The machine tells you to hold your breath and let it out intermittently as it moves you on this conveyor belt contraption in and out of the donut. When the tech hooked my IV up to the dye he told me I’d feel warmth spreading through my body, like a wetness, and it’d feel like I’d peed myself but I wouldn’t actually have. The sensation should only last a minute. Right as he was telling me it was going to feel wet, the connection at my IV site spewed out onto my head and arm. For a second I was like “wow this really feels wet” until I realized it was ACTUAL wetness. A comedy of errors follows me wherever I go.
I was in and out of there within 45 minutes. Afterwards, I treated myself to a donut, obviously. My nervousness kicked in after the scan was over because I knew I’d have to wait to get the results. More waiting! When I didn’t hear on Thursday I called my doctor’s nurse to see if they’d gotten the scan. She told me that they did have them but that the doctor might not be free to call me until Monday. More waiting! But not two hours later I got a call from my doctor (on her day off!) who told me she had reviewed the scan and it was good news: there was no evidence of the cancer spreading.
I seriously smiled the biggest smile and hugged any co-worker near me after that call. When I called Mr. Darcy to tell him, I could hear the relief in his voice. Finally! A little lightness! After I tweeted and Facebooked about it, my phone was blowing up with gleeful responses. You guys seriously are the best cheering squad ever. (Thank you!)
A lot of folks have asked what does this mean. While this is good news just like the fact that the cancer is not in my lymph nodes and isn’t presenting in my uterus, I still have to have surgery on the 5th because there still is cancer in my cervix. The clear scan means it’s probably isolated to that area. The best case scenario is this surgery will cut the rest of the cancer out. We really won’t know until after the surgery when the results come back which could take over a week. But what’s more waiting? I’m getting better with the waiting. I still don’t like it but I can endure it.
For now I’m letting myself bask in a glimmer of lightness for the first time in weeks. To some of you this is old news if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook but I wanted to document this important juncture in the cancer journey and also let anyone who might be needing a CT that they aren’t that bad, especially if you call it “a donut” and treat yourself to one afterwards. Trying to convince yourself the viscous drink is a milkshake will probably not work though.